We made it back from Ikea and I was dying of exhaustion. Who knew the pregnant-couple-with-the-baby-on-the-way could tire out the Swingin' Single?
When I considered how much time it would take for me to beautify and primp and preen for our evening out - I realized I had like 15 minutes to take a nap.
After the briefest of power naps and a shower and quick change, we hopped in the hoopty (okay, my sister doesn't actually drive a hoopty, but I thought it made the story better) destination: Buckhead.
We cruised by Puffy's restaurant and Jermaine Dupri's restaurant and Emeril's restaurant and went to a dining spot literally on the Buckhead/Midtown line. Taurus (25th and Peachtree) was voted Best New Restaurant in Atlanta in 2006 and is the latest culinary creation of chef Gary Mennie. He is the chef behind four-star rated Canoe, one of Atlanta's hottest restaurants.
Taurus is glam. glam. glam. You enter a door and are greeted by a hostess in a sort of three story alcove. Beside the hostess stand are two elevators ready to whisk you to the actual restaurant in the floors above.
Once you're allowed passage on the elevator you arrive to a floor that pulsates with a Vegas, rat pack vibe. Massive red velvet lounge seats are arranged in a circle below a round, cascading light fixture that practically takes up the whole ceiling.
A long, marble bar lines a wall to the side and a spacious al fresco seating area wraps around the outside, complete with intimate dining tables and lounging areas spotted with comfy, cushioned chairs.
We sat down and our waiter was instantly attentive. I could tell this guy doesn't just serve food. He eats food and he cooks food. Our waiter carefully described each dish and the variety of flavorful ingredients used in them. After I wiped the drool from my mouth, I settled on a young arugula salad with candied pecans and citrus dressing and a charred flatiron steak and garlic mashed potatoes.
The salad was amazing. The dressing was just light enough to offer a hint of sunny, citrus flavor. The arugula was beefy and fresh and the scattered pecans had just enough carmelized sugar on them - I didn't feel like I was eating candy with my salad. The beef was just as impressive. A medium temperature offered up the most lovely pink meat that my knife cut through so smoothly. The steak was served atop a bed of patiently beaten potatoes with just a faint flavor of garlic.
Bridge was served seared Maine scallops that were about the size of Kennedy half-dollars. The scallops came with the most sophisticated of Southern citrus grits and tomatoes in a vinaigrette.
Scuba ordered the daily special - an oak roasted pork rack and marscapone polenta drizzled with sweet onion marmalade. I didn't manage to snag a bite of this dish, but the meat was just about as big as the oven mitt worn by the chef manning the kitchen.
For dessert the three of us shared a lavender shortcake topped with organic strawberries (the flavors burst in my mouth) and sweet cream.
After we rolled out of the restaurant - we headed to the Whole World Improv Theatre on Spring Street.
This place is an in-person version of that show Who's Line Is It, Anyway. The performers act out a variety of scripts based on audience suggestions. The stage emcee is a bit of a diva and consistently berated the audience for coming up with sub par offerings (the audience suggestions tended to relate to things of a sexual or depraved nature. Unfortunately the establishment did not offer any prior guidelines that these topics are not acceptable).
Aside from the consistent criticism from the emcee (hey, dude. Sometimes sex can be pretty funny. Sorry y'all get the same five suggestions every night), the performance was quite delightful and at times downright hilarious. The performers at Whole World are definitely on their way to things bigger and better.
We fought off exhaustion with just enough time to make it back to Duluth safely.
All good things must come to an end, and so, too, my trip to the A-T-L.
My brother-in-law treated Bridge and me to a heaping pile of chocolate chip pancakes while we sat around and bitched about the crazy women featured on We's Bridezilla. After enough lounging (maybe it was 3 o'clock or so?) we decided to rally for my big drive north. Scuba and Bridge and I piled in our respective cars and headed to a Mexican restaurant on Peachtree Industrial for a final bite before I left. After I had my fill of rice and refried beans, we took some pics (I've promised I wouldn't post any of the bare, baby bump) and said our goodbyes.
This is where I admit I am such an emotional sap.
I cried as I drove away from Bridge and Scuba and the baby yet to be. I cried as I had to say goodbye to our weekend of fun and family time. I cried as I had to part with this little family bursting with new chapters to celebrate and enjoy.
And that's when I got the new appreciation for life I mentioned earlier - A new appreciation for what's to come for everyone.